TODAY’S LITTLE LETTER FROM LARA

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” Philippians 4:4

Dear friend,

I’ve been reading the Bible daily for years now, and the Spirit of God has been bringing to light increasingly in my reading His heart’s desire that we be JOYFUL, that we REJOICE, and that we PRAISE HIM continually!

Why be JOYFUL and REJOICE and PRAISE HIM day in and day out? Because HE IS LORD and because of the bountiful blessings He bestows upon us beginning with a forever relationship with Himself through faith in and a life devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ! Joy is not to be conditional on our circumstances which may be good or bad, easy or hard. Our REJOICING and PRAISE are to be contingent on JESUS SAVIOR OF THE WORLD!

Please join me in reading the Bible daily, in seeing how often the Lord speaks of JOY and REJOICING and PRAISE, and in choosing day by day to REJOICE IN JESUS WHO IS FOREVER LORD!

Love in Christ,

lara

TODAY’S DAILY INSPIRATION

Don’t Take Back the Weight 

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

“Don’t take back the weight,” the Spirit of God said.

I had let something go. Now I was taking it back. God was warning me. Don’t take it back.

When God sets us free, it’s to stay free. But sometimes the very freedom He gives us we lose because we of our own will – from fear, pride, lust, selfishness, guilt, rebellion, etc. – return to bondage.

You who are reading this, are you weighed down with something God told you to let go? Jesus Christ is Lord, and there should be only one answer when He says let go, and only one answer when He says don’t take back the weight, and it’s this.

“Yes, Lord, I will obey!”

Are we?

TODAY’S 365 BLESSINGS

365 BLESSINGS is a devotional book the Lord has led me to publish piece by piece even as I’m writing it rather than waiting until it’s in print to share it. Please join me & be blessed as I write my latest book…!

Blessing #58

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11

Does God promise in this verse to give us every good thing WE want? No! Friend, He gives us all the good things HE wants us to have. But in our greed and pride, don’t we sometimes lash out at God, turn our backs on Him, distance ourselves from Him, withdraw trust from Him, doubt Him, go running to false gods and idols, etc. because we believe God isn’t good to us? God’s greatest blessing to us is a forever relationship with Himself through salvation based on Jesus’ death and resurrection, and His physical and spiritual blessings are endless. Instead of complaining that we aren’t getting from God what we want and accusing Him wrongfully and arrogantly of not being good to us, let us be joyful and thank Him for His countless indescribably wonderful blessings – starting with HIMSELF! Oh, how good, how good, how very good the Lord is to us each and every day, yes!

TODAY’S THE CROSS DEVOTIONAL

A JOYFUL DECISION!

“This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

“I will be glad and rejoice in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.” Psalm 9:2

“I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy,
For You have considered my trouble;
You have known my soul in adversities,
And have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy;
You have set my feet in a wide place.” Psalm 31:7-8

“But let the righteous be glad; Let them rejoice before God; Yes, let them rejoice exceedingly.” Psalm 68:3
“Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; And let those who love Your salvation say continually, “Let God be magnified!”” Psalm 70:4

One day the Spirit of God brought to wonderful light something I had never noticed before in the first verse above. The psalmist describes MAKING A DECISION to REJOICE AND BE GLAD! Yes, A DECISION! I had never noticed before HIS DECISION! I simply had thought he rejoiced.

Friend, we can – and SHOULD – DECIDE TO REJOICE AND BE GLAD AND PRAISE THE LORD every day no matter our feelings and no matter our circumstances. We can – and SHOULD – choose to REJOICE IN AND BECAUSE OF JESUS.

This doesn’t mean we won’t experience hard trials and difficult emotions, but it does mean regardless of the details of our everyday lives that we can still CHOOSE TO REJOICE IN JESUS!

Let this day be a new beginning for us all of making a decision to REJOICE IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST and to PRAISE THE LORD each and every day from here on out!

TODAY’S SERVING JESUS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE

WHEN to Serve God

“Serve the Lord with gladness;…” Psalm 100:2One of the great tragedies of the sin-ridden, me-centered world in which we live is how we are prone to thinking of serving God as something we should do according to OUR wishes, wants, and ways – on OUR timetable – for OUR good pleasure.

Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior of the world, and our service to Christ should be based on GOD’S WISHES, WANTS, AND WAYS – on HIS TIMETABLE. FOR HIS GLORY!

A true servant serves when his or her master calls and humbly performs the work assigned WHEN his or her master desires. For the sake of the master, is this not true?

Sometimes I find myself thinking things like this: “Oh, but I don’t want to do this right now! I’m too tired! I’m busy doing something else! I had other plans! I’d rather be doing what I’ve chosen to do! I don’t have the energy right now but maybe later! I have something more important to do!”

Sometimes this involves someone in need. Or several people in need. Or my special needs dogs needing help. Or writing the Lord wants me to finish and send off. Or reaching out to someone I’m not especially in the mood to contact right then – or ever.

Friend, serving the Lord IS NOT ABOUT US! Serving Jesus is ABOUT JESUS and ABOUT OTHERS! And it’s about HIS WILL, HIS TIMING, for HIS GLORY!

Let us not resist God’s will and timing in our service to Him. Let us HUMBLE OURSELVES BEFORE HIM and go forth serving Him with love & thanksgiving, AMEN!

LATEST MINISTRY UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST

I am heading back for another season of streets ministry in New York City in just a few weeks and am trying to get some much needed rest and plenty of time with the Lord in preparation.

Please pray for me and the ministry’s special needs service doggies as I take this next huge step of faith forward in my work helping to build His forever Kingdom for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ!

I confess I still feel burned out from years of ongoing personal challenge, years of ministry work with very little help and support, years of caring for special needs rescued dogs, and over two years now of being on the road for Jesus!

But I choose to TRUST the Lord will give me the strength I need day by day to do what He gives me to do each day, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your love, encouragement, and prayers!

Living for the glory of Christ,

Lara

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